This guide contains conceptual, procedural, and scenario information about using server-side JavaScript with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud application. You can use Core server-side JavaScript functions to personalize landing pages and create applications to run on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. Use Platform server-side JavaScript functions to work with messages, landing pages, and applications.

What Is Server-Side JavaScript

The Salesforce Marketing Cloud application uses JavaScript code processed by the Salesforce Marketing Cloud servers. Instead of using the browser to render the JavaScript on the client-side computer, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud application executes the JavaScript on the server when rendering.

Server-side JavaScript does not work with the DOM and will not function with exterior libraries. Instead, you can use libraries provided by the Salesforce Marketing Cloud application to create server-side JavaScript that works within landing pages. All functions native to JavaScript, such as arrays, math functions, the EVAL function, and try catch blocks, will work with server-side JavaScript.

Why Use Server-Side JavaScript

You can duplicate the functionality of AMPscript using server-side JavaScript. However, server-side JavaScript can also handle more advanced procedures:

  • You can use arrays in your server-side JavaScript.
  • You can use more advanced exception handling with server-side JavaScript.

If you are already familiar with JavaScript, you can immediately begin to use that knowledge in creating your landing pages.

Should I Use AMPscript or Server-Side JavaScript

You should exclusively use AMPscript or Platform object server-side JavaScript functions in email messages and reserve your use of core library server-side JavaScript to landing pages and applications.

From there, several factors may influence your choice to use one language over another:

  • AMPscript can simply and efficiently handle inline personalization or simple IF ELSE statements.
  • AMPscript can better handle use cases where each subscriber needs to see unique content than can server-side JavaScript.
  • AMPscript can present a shorter learning curve than server-side JavaScript for users new to scripting languages in general.
  • A great deal of people already know JavaScript and can immediately apply that knowledge to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud application. 

In general, the vast majority of users can handle the tasks they need to perform using AMPscript. Use Core library server-side JavaScript functions only to accomplish tasks on landing pages where AMPscript does not provide appropriate functions. Platform server-side JavaScript functions can handle messaging tasks as well as landing pages and applications. Ultimately, many factors help determine which language helps you complete your task in the most elegant and efficient manner possible. However, the above factors can help you make a more informed decision. Consult your Salesforce Marketing Cloud representative or our Global Support team if you have any further questions about which language to use.

How To Use Server-Side JavaScript

Server-side JavaScript interacts with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud application via several libraries. Write your code to work with these libraries in order to work with the information in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud account. These libraries allow server-side JavaScript to be updated while maintaining previous versions in order to avoid breaking preexisting code. You can use all commands and syntax outlined in the JavaScript specifications as part of your server-side JavaScript offerings.

Review the pages below for the syntax and sample code necessary to use server-side JavaScript with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud application.

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Last updated by ryan.williams at 08:00, 13 Mar 2015